As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for the upcoming season, they find themselves facing a crucial task on their offseason to-do list: securing a contract extension for defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Jones, who is entering the final year of his current deal, has reportedly set his sights on a lofty and extravagant long-term agreement.
According to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, a potential extension for Jones could span three to four years, with the defensive lineman expressing his desire to become the second-highest-paid player at his position.
Presently, the second-highest-paid interior defensive lineman in the league is Tennessee’s Jeffery Simmons, who commands an average yearly salary of $23.5 million, trailing only the formidable Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, who earns $31.6 million annually. It is within this financial range that a prospective Jones extension could land.
However, the Chiefs face a significant hurdle in their pursuit of this astronomical deal, as they find themselves strapped for cap space.
With just $1.9 million in available cap room, Kansas City ranks fourth-lowest in the league, as reported by OverTheCap. Nevertheless, retaining Jones is of paramount importance for the Chiefs, given his status as a vital defensive centerpiece.
Boasting four Pro Bowl selections over his seven seasons, Jones showcased his prowess last year by registering an impressive 15.5 sacks in 17 games, tying for fourth in the NFL and establishing a career-high. His remarkable performance garnered recognition, as he finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, narrowly trailing Micah Parsons and Nick Bosa.
Acknowledging the significance of securing an extension for Jones, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach emphasized its priority during his post-draft news conference. While navigating the complexities of the negotiation process, Veach expressed optimism, stating, “Those things usually take a bit of time here, so we’ll have a runway now until the start of training camp to hopefully get something done.”
Drawing inspiration from their successful team-friendly extensions with stars like quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs could explore a similar approach to accommodate Jones.
His unwavering loyalty was evident in a recent tweet where he declared, “I’m a Chief for life. I will not play for another franchise.”
Securing a long-term extension for the 28-year-old defensive stalwart would undoubtedly represent a monumental victory for Kansas City, fortifying their quest for future Super Bowl triumphs and cementing Jones as a cornerstone of their success.